Introduction to Reception

At Dovecote our intention is to provide the best start to the children’s education. They are at the centre of everything we do and we want the best possible outcomes for each individual child so that:

  • The children are safe, happy, feel valued and special. Each child, their individuality and what makes them unique is celebrated by all adults and children to build respect, relationships and understanding.
  • The children develop resilience, confidence, independence, resourcefulness, self-motivation and an ability to problem solve, so that they can interact with the world around them and are prepared for life in modern Britain.
  • The children are excited to come to school, their learning is enjoyable, builds upon curiosity and their interests.
  • Children are confident, have a good sense of self, build strong friendships and are kind.  

We strive:

  • To support and challenge the children during their learning, through high quality interactions, questioning, modelling and encouraging the children to produce work they are proud of.
  • To be innovative and teach in ways which stimulate and engage the children through well thought out independent play activities as well as structured, taught sessions.
  • Provide a learning environment that is inviting, well resourced, accessible to all, promotes exploration and independence.
  • To put high value on the Prime areas of learning to equip the children with transferrable life skills and learning strategies to apply into year 1 and beyond. 
  • To encourage children to consider their own choices and responsibilities in all that they do, building empathy, self-regulation and forethought into their actions and behaviour. 
  • To set aspirational targets for our children to achieve by the end of Reception, building on their nursery experience and promoting a smooth transition into Year 1. 

Contact us

If you have any queries or need to contact the Reception staff for any reason, you can email us at:

Tips for supporting learning at home 

  • Reading skills: don’t forget to enjoy stories together and talk about the stories you have read! 
  • Counting: Practise counting around the home: counting the stairs on the way to bed, counting out the fishfingers onto the baking tray ready to cook, counting out the cups for everyone in the family to have a drink, counting favourite teddies or toy cars etc.
  • Work on self-help skills – getting dressed and undressed without help, taking own plate to the kitchen after dinner, tidying away own toys. Doing buttons and zips can be tricky so practise really helps!
  • Practise listening and understanding skills – give your child an instruction with two parts.  E.g. put the cars away and then wash your hands ready for your snack.
  • Imaginative/mark-making: have a teddy bears picnic – or an action figure picnic! Write or draw invitations or thank you cards to the toy guests. 
  • Mark-making: use a paintbrush and a pot of water to do some mark-making in your garden.  Can you write your name? Practise the sounds we have been learning in phonics? Make patterns like zig-zags and swirls? Or pour some salt or flour into a bowl and make letters shapes in it with fingers.
  • Physical Development: Cut out pictures from old magazines or catalogues, or make some playdough and strengthen wrist and finger muscle while playing with it.
  • Physical Development/creative: Use the boxes, tubes and tubs from your recycling pile and create something new.  You could make a shaker using a pot and some rice or pasta; a house for a little character or teddy from boxes; some binoculars with toilet rolls and string, wool or ribbon, a jet pack from boxes and tubes.  Use pens to add detail to your models and lids to be wheels, or windows or buttons!
  • Imaginative/physical/creative: Use Lego or Duplo to make your own creations. Maybe you can build a car, or a house, or a garden! Play with the mini figures and characters afterwards having an adventure with your creation.  Perhaps you can do some mark-making and draw a picture of your model and maybe even try to label it.
  • Imaginative/creative: Play with your teddies, dolls or action figures.  What are they going to do today?  Are they going to school?  Do the babies need putting to bed, or some milk? Do the teddies or the superheros need to save the day? Adventure awaits! Role play and small world play is a valuable play skill that promotes imagination and empathy.